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away. >>> a final meeting between president obama and congressional leaders to hammer out a last-minute deal towards the so called -- to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff has finished. john boehner was at the white house today, trying to reach an agreement to avoid hundreds of billions of dollars of tax increases and spending cuts. no statement is expected anytime soon. we go live now to washington to war correspondent, ben. >> all of the participants at this meeting left without a word. i don't think we will hear from them the rest of the day. there is a great deal at stake and very little time left. it has been reported that president obama presented a plan to increase taxes on income over a quarter million dollars per year, as part of the deficit reduction plan to deal with american debt. he would probably say to the congressional leaders that need to figure out a way to get it through, but i think the expectations in washington of a deal are low with only three, four days left until the new year and the media tax hikes and spending cuts taking and -- kicking in. >> that means
with congressional leaders this afternoon and declared he was modestly optimistic about a deal on taxes. speaking in the white house briefing room, president obama condemned congress for failing to resolve its differences in any normal way. >> christin, let's take a listen to what the president said about the up or down vote about what he expects to emerge from the senate. >> i just had a good and constructive discussion here at the white house with senate and house leadership about how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class. i'm optimistic. if an agreement isn't reached in time, between senate store reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote. i believe such a proposal could pass with bipartisan majorities. >> this up or down vote seems to be the big news of the day. isn't this what the white house wanted all along? >> well, it is. it's president's obama's way of saying vote on his basic proposal. it would extend in employment insurance benefit and deal with unemployment insurance cuts. >> so the question is, could
morning, even as the finger pointing continues on capitol hill this morning, new hope on a deal to avoid that fiscal cliff. president obama will be meeting with congressional leaders later today. danielle leigh joins us. >> that meeting in many ways a last opportunity for the president and congressional leaders to reach a deal and get something done before this year is over. if this meeting is unsuccessful it could seal this country's fate, as some developments yesterday. house members no longer on stand by. ready to come back sunday. to take a vote. when these tax cuts expire just about every worker is going to see their paycheck reduced. it's going to eliminate unemployment extensions and initiate spending cuts across the board. >> how will people see this in their paychecks and in their taxes? >> workers will feel it immediately in their paychecks. those paychecks will be reduced. those making 40,000, 50,000 are going to see 1700 less a year. it continues as the wages increase. so people are going to feel this in their pocketbooks. >> all right, danielle, thank you. >>> last night on
one is avoiding the fiscal cliff. >> unless the president obama and congress can reach a deal by the new year, tax increases and spending cuts will take deep effect. >> president obama's re-election was one of the biggest political stories of the year. >> with the first of our year enders, here's abc's karen travers. >> reporter: president obama had to overcome a well funded opponent, struggling economy and voter doubts that he had the right agenda to turn the nation around. and after a roller coaster season, he got them. mitt romney may have started off at the front runner, but to win the republican nomination, he had to fend off some feisty challengers. >> he's the worst republican in the country to put up against president obama. >> reporter: and overcome some self-inflicted wounds. after 50 primary contests, romney clenched the nomination and it was on to the general election. >> it will be a choice between -- >> two very different paths. >> reporter: their battle focused on the economy. >> we can't afford another four years like the last four years. >> we need more tax cu
time to avert the fiscal cliff before the new year. president obama will head back to washington tonight. danielle leigh is on capitol hill. good morning. does a deal still look doable? >> good morning. there is hope for a deal but confidence in that grand bargain reform has all but disappeared. americans are already taking a good hard look at their wallets as confidence the avoidance of the fiscal cliff diminishes. >> there is hope a deal will be cut. >> reporter: if congress doesn't oaks spire tax cuts in day, middle income earners will owe $2,000 extra a year. consumers are predicted to cut back in automotive, apparel and entertainment. >> once people decide to cut back on that, the effect is dramatic. >> reporter: the national retail federation says retailers support 1 in 4 american jobs and if the downward trend intensify, those jobs would be at risk. >> if retailers stop creating job, the economy as a whole will stop creating jobs. >> reporter: the wait is e excruciating. president obama visited hawaii after talks on capitol hill. they were $200 billion apart on a deal. >>
american power, the obama white house, and "the new new deal," the hidden story of change in the obama era with bob woodward's the price of politics. i want to ask both of you, did bob woodward's most recent book get the attention most of his books get? >> my feeling is it has got initial attention, it was crowded out by the nature of the news cycle, at least to my mind, and there wasn't that many other ones that emerged after those initial one or two, the book lost some of its momentum but i'm sure bob will have an equally substantive answer on this front too. >> a standard what you are comparing it to, it was not his most commercially successful book. sera touchdown two things, the news cycle has heated up, the other factor was the topic was about the negotiations over the budget, the debt is not exactly an exciting topic for a lot of people. as opposed to his books on maneuvering in the bush white house which would have more interest. >> one thing i want to bring up tangential to these particular books but an emerging trend we saw in 2012, a lot of current events, topics are not just th
continues on capitol hill this morning there is new hope for a deal to avoid that fiscal cliff. president obama will be meeting with congressional leaders later today. nbc's danielle leigh joins us live with the latest on capitol hill. danielle, what is the datest in terms of what we can expect in the next coming days and the likelihood that they can reach a deal? >> reporter: mara, good morning. well, this meeting that is the last-minute meeting at the white house is going to be integral. they need to see progress in this meeting if they're going to get a deal done before midnight on monday. as you know, the senate came back early from the christmas holiday yesterday. but they didn't seem able to compromise. they continued the bickering. the house wasn't even here. they're not even in play yet. they're now coming back on sunday. so we really need to see congressional leaders see some kind of a plan that can be voted on before that december 31st deadline. lawmakers say it's getting decreasingly unlikely that's going to happen. many have serious doubts about whether or not they will get a
, everybody, president obama calling on congress just moments ago askng to avoid the fiscal cliff. he said he is moderately optimistic that a deal could be done by december 31. congressional leaders are working on crafting a bill. certainly no grand bargain here that would improve entitlements. if they can't get a deal, the president has told harry reid to put the white house proposals up for an up or down vote. the details just keep on coming out. with us now are two guests. first, we are going to go rich edson. he is here with the very latest. tell us what you made of the president's comments. he was very direct. reporter: he was. and now heasses on to the senate. senate majity leader harry reid, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. they are trying to come up with something that can pass the house and the senate. the president laid out a proposal earlier this evening. at the beginning of this meeting. $250,000 per year. that income would be shielded from tax increases, and now he wants an extension of unemployment insurance. that is something that essentially a nontarter in a republican-
obama is packing his bags, heading back to washington to try to forge a deal on the fiscal cliff, with just six days left to negotiate, a deal to avoid the catastrophic cliff, the president will leave hawaii tonight to try to work on a bargain between democrats and republicans. brianna keilar is traveling with the president in hawaii and joins us now. good morning, brianna. did the president cut his vacation short or was it planned all along? >> reporter: he did cut his vacation short from what was initially planned which was to go through the new year, so yes, he cut it short. i think we have a sense he might be heading back to d.c., carol, you'll recall when talks fell apart last week between house speaker john boehner and the president as the president departed for hawaii he talked to reporters in the briefing room and he said "see you next week" so i think we had a sense he would be coming back earlier than initially planned and it was just a matter of when, not if, and he'll be heading back tonight, that's local time so he'll be traveling overnight, it's quite a long flight,
. >>> let's make a deal. president obama sitting down with top congressional leader from both parties in just hours. can they agree on something before sending the country over the fiscal cliff? >>> and holy cow. $8 for a gallon of milk? why that utterly ridiculous price could be a very real possibility today, friday, december 28th, 2012. >>> and good morning, everyone. welcome to "today" on a friday morning. i'm savannah guthrie. >> i'm willie geist in this morning. she is full of milk puns this morning. holy cow. utterly. >> what are you, lactose intolerant? >> the trifecta. >> we'll move on to the big story, which is the weather. we're bracing for another big storm before the last one is done. >> it's expected to bring a new round of travel headaches during a holiday travel weekend. how will it impact you in more on that ahead. >>> also, retired general norman schwarzkopf has died at the age of 78. he's being remembered as one of the greatest military figures in u.s. history. more on his remarkable life coming up. >>> also ahead, it happened again. a man shoved to his death in fron
number one is avoiding the fiscal cliff. >> unless the president obama and congress can reach a deal by the new year, tax increases and spending cuts will automatically take effect. >> and the clock is ticking. >>> of course, when we look back at this year, president obama's re-election was one of the biggest political stories of the year. all others, you could say, they pealed in comparison. >> with the first of our year-enders, here's abc's karen travers. >> reporter: to win a second term, president obama had to overcome a well funded opponent, a struggling economy, and voters' doubts that he had the right agenda to turn the nation around. [ chanting ] >> all: four more years! >> reporter: and after a roller coaster season, he got them. mitt romney may have started off at the frontrunner, but to win the republican nomination, he had to fend off some feisty challengers. >> he's the worst republican in the country to put up against barack obama. >> the odds are very high i'm going to be the nominee. >> reporter: and overcome some self-inflicted wounds. >> i like being able to fire pe
's effecting millions. and it looks like president obama may be cutting short his vacation to actually deal with the fiscal cliff deadline. he isn't the only one. there is new developments coming in right now and we'll have them for you next. [ boy ] there i was. another holiday stuck at the kids table again. then it happened. every boy's dream. i got called up to the big leagues. i was finally a man... on my way to shaving, driving and staying up past midnight. [ whoosh ] [ whoosh ] [ whoosh ] being an adult is overrated. [ male announcer ] holidays aren't the same without the real cream of reddi-wip. the sound of reddi-wip [ whoosh ] is the sound of joy. [ buzzing ] bye dad. drive safe. k. love you. [ chirping, buzzing continues ] [ horn honks ] [ buzzing continues ] [ male announcer ] the sprint drive first app. blocks and replies to texts while you drive. we can live without the &. visit sprint.com/drive. it's our top story on this fox trip across america. >> texas. the san san antonio homeowner says his house shook and then boom. a neighbor says his kids were playing nearby just before
cliff before the new year. and president obama has cut his vacation one day short and heading back today. does it still look doable? >> there is hope for a deal but confidence in that grand bargain has already but disappeared. >> reporter: americans are already taking a hard look at their wallets as confidence in the fiscal cliff diminishes. >> i don't think there is a grand bargain but hope a deal will be cut. >> reporter: if congress doesn't change tax cuts in day, middle income earners will owe extra by the end of the year and they will cut back on auto industry, apparel and entertainment. >> once they cut back on that, that will be dramatic. >> reporter: retailers support 1 in 4 american jobs and if the downturn intensifies, those jobs are at risk. >> if retailers stop creating jobs, the economy as a whole stops creating jobs. >> reporter: the weight is excruciating for some and president obama left them $200 billion apart. >> the president was $200 billion higher on revenues and speaker boehner, $200 billion higher on spending cuts. >> if you get 80% of what you want, that's a prett
obama said "homeland" is his favorite show. my question is when you're dealing with live, real people who you are portraying or in the case of "homeland" or "24" when you're trying to deal with agencies that you are representing, what is that interaction like? we were talking a little bit in the room next door, maybe you can answer michael, how is tony blair's perception changed as a result of those films or the queen's perception changed in the minds of the public then we can talk about "homeland" and "24"? >> there are many things that you realize that you are working with when you do a film or a tv show that is -- has so much political emphasis. and one of the things is inevitably you come up against the agenda of people in terms of the agendas they have for looking at and judging politicians and public figures. which in my experience people tend to be more comfortable looking at things black and white and you want people to fit into a certain box so you can judge them against other people and make a choice and all that. and of course the first duty of an artist is to go beyond bl
're nowhere near a deal. i think i have this figured out. president obama came back from hits vacation saying let's see if we can get something together, knowing very well that they can't. the house and senate are so far apart, neither one will even entertain the idea -- >> juliet: so why have a meeting? >> eric: you look like you're trying o do the right thing. these bush tax cuts will expire december 31, 72 hours from now, whatever the number is. if president obama comes back in january sometime and says, you know what, house republican members, i have an idea. let's lower taxes 'cause they went back up. let's lower taxes back to where they were last year for the people making under $250,000 a year and let's call them the obama tax cuts. it looks like he's the tax cutter and if you're a republican in the house, you go, wait a minute, i'm supposed to be for lower taxes. how can i vote no for lowering taxes on anybody? >> kelly: you allude to a very important point to why critics of this entire mess have gone on to say that perhaps president obama knew that he wanted to have a fiscal cliff, f
before averting the so-called fiscal cliff before the new year. president obama has cut short his hawaiian holiday. he'll come back to washington tomorrow night. nbc's danielle leigh is live. >> reporter: richard, good morning. there. is still a hope that a deal can get done, but confidence in that bargain with real reform has all but disappeared. americans are already taking a good hard look at their wallets, as confidence the country will avoid the fiscal cliff diminishes. >> i don't think there's going to be a grand bargain before the end of the year. there is hope a deal will be cut. >> reporter: if congress doesn't extend expiring tax cuts in just days, middle income owners will owe uncle sam about $2,000 extra a year. retailers will cut back in automotive, apparel and entertainment. >> once people begin to pull back on that, the effect will be dramatic. >> reporter: the national retailers association said retailer its support 1 in 4 american jobs and if the downward turn intensifies. for those, the wait is excruciating. president obama visited troops in hawaii over christmas
are doing about it. have a look. president obama spending christmas eve on the links in honolulu with friends. while lawmakers relax at home for the holidays. right now the senate looks like it might be the only hope for a compromise deal. can a deal be struck? white house correspondent brianna is traveling with the first family in honolulu, hawaii. hey, brianna, good morning. >> good morning, to you, it's been many silent nights actually in washington these days. not because there's nobody there to sort of figure out what's going on with the fiscal cliff but also, because folks really aren't talking. we know the white house is talking to senate democrats as we look to the senate as he reconvene on thursday, really, the last-ditch effort to try to do something. as of yet, congressional democrats in the white house are not talking with congressional republicans. that's even at the staff level. what we're expecting now is that the senate majority leader harry reid will try to get something together to get republican support in both the house and the senate. but what they're looking
's the card for people who ke more cash. what's in your wallet? gerri: president obama calling on congress to act to avoid the fiscal cliff. the president said he is optimistic. modestly optimistic, that is, that a deal can be done. here is the president. >> i still want to get this done. it's the right thing to do for our famies and our businesses d for our entire economy. but for immediate action comedy hour is here. it is now. we are now at the point where in just four days, every american's tax rates are scheduled to go up by law. every american paycheck will get considerably smaller. that would be the wrong thing to do. gerri: no kidding. we have been telling you that for weeks. democrats and republicans alike should rename their parties the procrastination party. that is because like a lot of college freshman, they left their work until the last minute. including the 800 billion-dollar fiscal cliff that we have been talking about. a hundred billion dollars it hasn' happened yet. it's not like the deadline comes as a surprise to anybody at all, the least of all congress. they were the
boehner and barack obama and many people who know these two men feel perhaps they could have a deal. we think to the budget and debt ceiling debacle. neither john boehner and to some degree mitch mcconnell have the ability to go back to their caucuses and get them to rally behind a deal they make. has that changed or does this change as we get closer to the deadline? >> i think it will change closer to the deadline. it will require the leaders to talk to their caucuses and talk to these individual members of the senate and the house of representatives and understanding and underscoring the peril we place in the country at this moment in time and that we have to resolve these issues. american people should not count on a stalemate. we're here to do our jobs in washington and we're seeing this failure demonstrated time and again because of ideological and political and philosophical stubbornness. what about the entire country? what about the good of the country? that's what's at stake for america, and i think that members of congress individually and collectively are responsible and the l
earlier this month. just released gallup poll, most admired woman. president obama is the most admired man. >>> congress will spend part of the new year in session, trying to come up with a deal that will prevent the nation from going over the fiscal cliff. >>> the american academy of pediatrics has released a new statement encouraging elementary schools to let kids have their play time. recess gives children the opportunity to develop skills that can't be taught in the classroom, that it should not serve as a substitute for phys. ed. class. fond farewell 75 watt incandescent light bulb. under law, they can no longer be produced or imported as of january 1st though retailers can clear their remaining stocks. government will turn out the lights on traditional 60 and 40-watt bulbs in 2014. >>> it's what everyone is talking about, i think. reality tv star kim kardashian and rapper kanye west are expecting their first child. west made the announcement last night at a concert in atlantic city. west is 35. kardashian is 32, she is in the process of divorcing kris humphries, whom she married in 2
. >>> also this morning, it's back to business for president obama. he's cutting short his hawaiian vacation, to return to washington. hoping to strike a last-minute deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. >>> plus, deep discounts. if you're not sick of the mall just yet, you're going to find some great sales today. why a loss for retailers could be your gain. >>> and the holiday homecoming. one family never imagined was possible. how a chance encounter by a caring stranger put a dog-napped
in slightly more than 24 hours. we're here, we're ready. >> reporter: president obama sitting down for his first sunday morning talk show interview in over three years told nbc it's time for lawmakers to nail down a deal. >> we don't yet see an agreement, and now the pressure is on congress to produce. >> reporter: republicans and democrats going back and forth behind closed doors, working through the night, trying to avoid some of the most painful tax hikes and spending cuts in our nation's history. >> there's still significant distance between the two sides. but negotiations continue. >> reporter: a possible sign of progress came when vice president joe biden rushed back from delaware to the white house to work the phones and reach out to republican senator mitch mcconnell, who he's worked with on many deals over the years. >> we're willing to work with whoever, whoever can help. no single issue that remains an impossible sticking point. >> reporter: if these talks fail overnight, senate majority leader harry reid says he'll push a white house fall back bill, raising taxes only on famili
's the deal. these type of negotiations what we lost a $4 trillion opportunity when boehner and obama were at the table having talks prior to the holiday. what we're looking at really condensed timeline of $1.5 trillion. kay bailey hutchison and other senate republicans come to the table and said look, i'm more you let's get a deal done. this roadblock is more on, are we going to be willing to raise taxes. gregg: marjorie, "the wall street journal" had a fascinating look at the negotiations. they talked to a participant. let me just read you one passage. at one point, according to the notes taken by a participant, speaker boehner told the president, quote, i put $800 billion in tax revenue on the table for you. what do i get for that? the response from the president? you get nothing. i get that for free. that is not negotiations, is it, marjorie? >> well, but you have had similar deals made by democrats where they have come to the table said here's what we're willing to do. this will take bipartisan compromises. gregg: that is not bipartisan that. i get everything for free. >> in that same
house. president barack obama, speaker of the house john boehner, house minority leader nancy pelosi, harry reid and mitch mcconnell. can they make a deal or can they do their jobs or is this just more political drama? >> we want an agreement. >> the count down is midnight. the start of a new year. >> we are going over the cliff because frankly i believe it's what the president wants. >> the american people are waiting for the ball to drop, but it's not going to be a good drop. >> but we have no takers. >> every republican, every democrat ought to be here. >> the phone never raining. >> they should negotiate a plan. they shouldn't have the mine are in plan, they should have the biglan. >> here we are five days from the new year, and we might finally start talking. >> the republicans are sitting there with a nuclear weapon. they have the debt ceiling coming up. they can use that as part of this negotiation. >> what is going on here? >> the president called me and probably called others last night. my impression is he would like to see if we can move forward. >> you can't legislate wit
soon. but six days before the fiscal cliff, president obama cutting short his christmas vacation on the off chance he and congress might be able to cut some kind of deal. he left. but brianna keilar is still there in honolulu. when's the president leaving and why does he really expect to avoid the cliff? >> reporter: i will be leaving as well when the president leaves, don. he is expected. he will be leaving tonight. that's local time. so he'll be traveling overnight and arriving back in the d.c. area late thursday morning. as you know, the senate reconvenes tomorrow. so he'll be going back as that is happening. we heard from him last week as he was heading out to hawaii. he said, see you next week. we had a thought that this was probably going to happen. he is officially now going back. he said last week, don, that he is still optimistic that something can get done. the other issue here, though, is you can imagine, how bad it would look if he go over the cliff and there's a lot of work to make sure that doesn't happen. he's here in hawaii on vacation. that would look terrible fo
. >> and it has some great names. looking forward to it. on my list, as well. >>> president obama's christmas vacation will be over in a matter of hours. we'll have the latest inside information on whether he'll get a deal or more frustration when he arrives back here in the nation's capital. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents the cold truth. i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still "stubbed" up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook. make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive! bu
obama charged him and the majority leader to come up with a deal to troy to avoid falling over the fiscal cliff. want to bring in brian monroe, editor of cnn politics.com from san antonio, texas. brian, we all know what's at stake, especially that immediate 2% payroll tax increase in everyone's first paycheck of the year. it seems that the president used his bully pulpit to strongly encourage senators to get to work by sending a not so veiled message to themand their constituents. let's listen. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable. why everything always has to wait till the last minute. we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. the economy's growing. but sustaining that trend is going to require elected officials to do their jobs. >> o'brien, as we mentioned, you'
to the debt ceiling. >> i agree. i think obama -- president obama out maneuvered the congressional republicans. maybe it isn't hard, sometimes, but can't out maneuver reality and the reality is we are running a $1 trillion deficit and the deal does nothing about that and does nothing to stimulate economic growth and irresponsibly cuts defense and we'll pay a terrible price for that, as a country, and he is the only president we have and this is where -- i'm not making it a partisan point, a terrible failure of leadership, he's the president and the truth is, the speaker can't do it and minority and majority leader can't do it. he has to be serious about dealing with reality and reality is the real cliff we are going over which is this debt cliff and monetary cliff, and i'm worried a foreign policy cliff and not merely the little, you know, fiscal cliff we have to deal with january 1st. >> chris: all right, panel we have to take a breake here, whe we come back the panel dusts off the crystal ball and gives us their predictions for 2013. ♪ ♪ >> chris: check out fox news sunday.com, for behin
mortgaged to the eyeballs, man. we've got to figure out a way to deal with student loans and the proliferation of these loans. that wouldn't be a bad place to start, you know? i mean, there are whole areas that i wouldn't mind seeing obama put his stamp on. >> let's talk about your own story. you came to new jersey from santo domingo when you were six. your parents come with you? >> yes. my father was already here. my father had left in '69, a year after i was born, working in new york city. and then in '74, five years later, the rest of the family, me and my siblings and my mother joined him. we all moved to new jersey. >> and how did they support you? what were they doing? >> my father was a forklift operator. my mom had five kids, so you can imagine that was her full-time job and her hobby. and that was how it all began. my dad driving forklift up in elizabeth, new jersey. and us going to school. and my mom sort of trying to make it all happen in the house. >> what did they want you to do? >> oh my god, i mean, immigrant, conservative family, and a kid who they began t
.com/drive. >>> president obama is heading back from his holiday vacation in hawaii early in case there is a last-minute deal. the senate returns from christmas break tomorrow. house leaders say they're prepared to call members back if there is an agreement. joining us to talk about this is john avalon. he's a senior political columnist for "newsweek" and "the daily beast." we're here again. it's like groundhog day. we don't think there's going to be any kind of grand bargain at this point. what are the short-term measures? what's the best thing to hope for in the next six days? >> the best thing we can hope for is they get back to work again, suzanne. from all reports leadership isn't even talking to each other at this point. so it really is urgent. with six days left, the clock is ticking and the countdown is going on. this is not something abstract on the washington level. people need to appreciate if the country goes over the fiscal cliff, it will impact the bottom line as well. money out of their pocket in the form of tax hikes. >> we have stop gap measures. there are some things they can do
a great deal of concern and even suspicion that syrian government forces may actually resort to using chemical weapons. president obama has warned there would be consequences if bashar al-assad's military conducts such chemical warfare. does that mean the u.s. may possibly consider eve enacting some military option in syria? >> i think what people are looking at is whether the chemical weapons can be secured or destroyed in place. this is very, very dangerous. one could argue that we should have focused on the chemical weapons a longtime allege. the other risk of course is the chemical weapons get outside of syria, fall into the hands of al-qaida or other terrorist and be used worldwide. it was a very dangerous situation. the pope was absolutely right to call attention to it. >> obviously you've talked to a lot of people 0 behind closed doors in terms of what is happening in syria and the entire middle east. what is going on here? why can't something, some resolution be found in this conflict? >> politics tpha* in tha in that part of the world is a blood sport. it's an all or nothing
the president and house speaker john boehner hit a wall and while they didn't reach a deal yesterday, there was movement on the income level they're willing to protect from tax hikes and other levels. mr. obama, on an interview on "meet the press" was cautiously opt missic. >> i'm confident that one of two things will happen when it comes to the fiscal cliff. one, we'll see an agreement within the next 48 hours in which case middle class taxes will not go up. if that doesn't happen, then democrats in the senate will put a bill on the floor of the senate and republican also have to decide if they're going to block it. >> biden and mcconnell are said to be only about $100,000 apart on where the bush era tax cuts would expire with the republican pushing for $550,000 a year. democrats offering a 450,000. biden stowed have given up his push to raise the estate tax. democrats are trying to delay spending cuts until 2015 and republicans are demanding more spending cuts to offset extended unemployment benefits and farm subsidies. lot of ground to make up. but mcconnell says his decision to r
to a rare sunday session. here's abc's jonathan karl with more. >> reporter: president obama cut short his hawaiian vacation, rushing back to washington where storm clouds, real storm clouds are gathering over the capitol. instead of deal making, it's name calling. the top democrat in the senate, accusing the republican speaker of the house of running a dictatorship. they say they haven't given up, but it sounds that way. >> i don't know time wise how it can happen now. >> here we are, once again, at the end of the year, staring at a crisis we should have dealt with literally months ago. >> reporter: without an agreement soon, nearly everybody takes a hit. a schoolteacher with two kids and a salary of $43,000, for example, will face a tax hike of more than $3,000. members of congress helped get us in this mess and they'll pay, too. with incomes of $174,000, they'll pay some $7,500 more in taxes. and it's not just taxes. on january 1, unemployment benefits expire for some 2 million people. you can expect one last effort, including a meeting at the white house with congressional leaders to t
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